Maryann Tobin

A new area in the Gulf of Mexico may have to be be closed to fishing. The US Coast Guard has discovered an area of water near the Mississippi River that appears to be a remnant of the BP oil spill. Jeff Hall, a spokesman for the US Coast Guard Unified Area Command said that tests will determine if the new area of contamination is from the BP oil spill. Hall said "the material discovered Saturday appears to be weathered oil," according to the Houston Chronicle.

Once confirmed, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said the area will have to be closed to fishing. The Coast Guard report of further environmental damage from the Gulf oil spill leads to questions about how many other patches of oil remain either undiscovered or unreported. It also raises questions about the safety of seafood in the Gulf of Mexico, which officials have been claiming is ‘safe' for human consumption.

The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20, 2010 and dumped more than 168 million gallons of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico. BP poured another 2 million gallons of chemical dispersant on top of that, bringing the total of unnatural toxins in Gulf waters to approximately 170 million gallons. Eleven men died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

See: Panel: BP cover up included Obama Administration

BP slow to pay oil spill damage claims while fisherman struggle